Focus on the Family's

Radio Theatre ®

George Foster Peabody Winner for Excellence in Broadcasting

A Radio Theatre Classic

It's one of the world's masterpieces of storytelling. Against the stirring background of the French Revolution, follow the tale of Jean Valjean as he encounters the savage injustice of the law — and then the gentleness and grace of God. It depicts events like the battle at the barricade and a heroic rescue through the underworld of Paris. But the truly epic nature of Les Misérables lies in its insights and glimpses into the human soul. No other novel has captured so well the transforming power of forgiveness as has Victor Hugo's masterpiece, Les Misérables. It has been called the most important novel of the 19th century. And rightly so. It's a tale of war and revolution, a touching love story — and a tale with some of the most memorable characters you'll find in any work of fiction.

Most of all, it's a story about a desperate thief whose life is changed forever when a kind bishop, catching him in the act of stealing precious silver, forgives him. Accustomed to living only for himself, Jean Valjean becomes a kindhearted man who helps a dying woman, cares for her child as if she were his own...and puts his life on the line to help an innocent stranger.

Les Misérables tells of the triumph of good over evil, of love over hatred, and of mercy over the letter of the law.

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Cast and Crew

Philip Glassborow Dramatization / Director / Casting Director
Todd Busteed Sound Design
Jared DePasquale Music Composition / Orchestration
Dave Arnold Producer / Voice Recording Engineer / Editor
Duane Harms Voice Track Editor
Paul McCusker Dramatization, Executive Producer
Kurt Bruner Vice President of Production

Brian Blessed as Jean Valjean
Brian won the New York Critics Award for his acclaimed performance as Augustus Caesar in I Claudius. On stage, he has starred with both the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre, and he created the role of "Old Deuteronomy" for the world premiere in London of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Cats. Brian's many films include three with Kenneth Branagh (Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet) and movies like Flash Gordon, Return to Treasure Island, and Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves with Kevin Costner. His vocal porrayals include the role of Boss Nass in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Clayton in Walt Disney's Tarzan.

Geoffrey Palmer as Inspector Javert
One of Britain's best-loved actors, Geoffrey has starred in such classic British television comedy and drama series as Butterflies with Wendy Craig and As Time Goes By with Judi Dench. His films include O Lucky Man, The Madness of King George, Tomorrow Never Dies and Her Majesty Mrs. Brown.

Tony Robinson as Thenardier
Tony is perhaps best known in the U.S. from the Rowan Atkinson TV comedy series Black Adder, in which he portrayed the hapless Baldrick. His many other TV and screen roles include Judas Iscariot in Easter Tales, Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and The Never Ending Story III.

Toyah Willcox as Fantine
Toyah co-starred with Sir Laurence Olivier in the acclaimed British TV production Ebony Tower. Her film roles include Miranda in The Tempest, Jubilee,Quadrophenia and The Corn is Green with Katharine Hepburn.

Leo McKern as M. Gillenormand
Leo is best known to TV viewers worldwide as Rumpole of the Bailey. His many other distinguished television credits include Monsignor Quixote with Sir Alec Guinness and The Prisoner. His films include A Man for All Seasons, The French Lieutenant's Woman, Ryan's Daughter, Ladyhawke and Help! with The Beatles.

Timothy West as the Bishop of Digne
Timothy has starred in many British television classics, most notably as Edward VII, Bramwell, Lord Reith and King Lear. He has appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Prospect Theatre Company and the National Theatre both in the U.K. and on major tours worldwide. His films include The Day of the Jackal, Cry Freedom, Ever After, Joan of Arc, 102 Dalmatians and The Fourth Angel.

Orlando Seale as Marius
Orlando studied at Oxford University and the Conservatoire of Dramatic Art in Paris. With the Royal Shakespeare Company, he appeared in Uncle Vanya, Richard III and The Servant of Two Masters. His films include Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet and Sleepy Hollow with Johnny Depp.

Gina Beck as Cosette
Gina is a member of England's prestigious National Youth Music Theatre, where her credits have included leading roles in Pendragon and The Kissing Dance. She made her British TV debut as Shelley in Baby One More Time.

Robert Benfield as Butler
Nick Burnell as Farmer
Justin Butcher as King's Officer
Lara Cazalet as Eponine
Ian Cullen as Prosecutor
Leo Dennett as Gavroche
Max Digby as Court Official
Beth Ellis as Mother Superior
Paul Ewing as Dilber
William Haden as Coachman
Andy Harrison as Captain
Michael Haughey as Cart Driver
Eve Karpf as Madame Thenardier
Stash Kirkbride as Labarre
Sallyanne Law as Anna
Lily Milton as Young Cosette
Joan Moon as Housekeeper
Christopher Naylor as Officer
Eileen Page as Baptistine
Audrey Palmer as Home Nurse
Daniel Philpott as Wheelwright
Edward Purver as Jacques
Gordon Reid as Lamont
Jessica Seaton as Hospital Nurse
David Simeon as Judge
Mervyn Stutter as Martin
Philip Sully as Javert's Driver
Simon Treves as Enjolras

Victor Hugo

He is known as the most important of French Romantic writers. During his lifetime, in fact, he earned the favor of the common people and of heads of state, influenced France's transition from dictatorship to democracy, and established himself as the greatest writer in the country. Victor Hugo was born on February 26, 1802, in Besançon, France. His father, an army general and carpenter's son, had risen quickly among Napoleon's citizen troops. But his mother chose to raise her sons away from army life, moving to Paris to do so.

Hugo's natural writing ability and inner drive surfaced early. By the time he was 17, he had already written tragedies and poetry, translated Virgil, and founded a review with his brothers. Soon after, he published a poetry collection that earned him a pension from King Louis XVIII. He published his first novel, Han d'Islande, in 1823. His fame as a writer truly soared in 1831, when he published Notre Dame de Paris, more commonly known as The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Hugo's writing style was lyrical, passionate, rich, versatile. He could write on nearly any theme and in any literary form. He was a master of imagery; every work reflects his vivid imagination and creative touch.

In 1822, Hugo married Adele Foucher. The couple had five children together. Unfortunately, their devotion to their children did not carry over into their own relationship; both Hugo and Adele became involved in extramarital relationships within 10 years.

Later in life, Hugo became involved in politics, supporting the republican form of government. He eventually was elected to the Académie Française, the Constitutional Assembly and to the Legislative Assembly. When Napoleon III overturned the republic in 1851, Hugo attempted to rally the workers of Paris against him. The attempt failed, and Hugo fled with his family to Brussels. He spent the next 19 years in exile on the islands of Jersey and Guernsey. During these years he wrote his masterpiece, Les Misérables.

Hugo returned to Paris in 1870, when the Franco-Prussian War brought down the empire. He continued advocating social justice until his death on May 22, 1885. Hugo had requested a simple burial, but was given a national funeral. More than 2 million people attended the service and the processional to the Panthéon, where Hugo is buried alongside France's great citizens.

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